Dereck Chisora vs Joseph Parker goes down at the Manchester Arena on Saturday night and our betting expert has previewed the big fight to give you his preview, predictions and tips.
There is excitement in the trade as this is a fight which could produce some real drama. Whether the fight should headline a pay-per-view event (£19.95 on Sky Sports Box Office) is another matter entirely but whatever your opinion, these two heavyweight sluggers know how to put on a show and a defeat for either man would effectively end their hopes of another world-title run.
The pair have history, and were initially set to fight in 2019 but that fight fell through after Parker was bitten by a spider, one of the more memorable cancellation excuses for a big fight in recent times.
The 28-2 New Zealand star is a former WBO world heavyweight champion and became the first man to take Anthony Joshua the distance as a pro in 2018. However, he lost a close fight to Dillian Whyte after that and his career has stagnated somewhat since.
Chisora vs Parker predictions
The big news ahead of this one is the fact he has parted ways with Kevin Barry, the man who led him to that WBO world heavyweight title in 2017. It is a genuinely bold move on Parker’s part and intriguingly he has linked up with Irishman Andy Lee, who is part of Tyson Fury’s training team.
Parker beat Tyson’s cousin Hughie for that WBO belt at the Manchester Arena, but looked very flat last time out as he got the nod on points against Junior Fa in Auckland for the spurious WBO Oriental heavyweight title.
At least he has been active. Twelve rounds against Fa won’t have done him any harm at all and according to Lee the Auckland native is ready to up sticks and move with his family to Ireland to dedicate himself to his craft. At 29 it will be interesting to see if Lee can bring out the dog in him but it’s refreshing that Parker has looked at his team and been honest enough to make some changes.
He starts as a solid 4/7 favourite to beat Chisora, who has morphed into a dangerous gatekeeper in the heavyweight division. Chisora troubled Oleksandr Usyk with his constant aggression last October, but he lacked the finesse to turn the fight in his favour (despite what David Haye might have you believe).
The very fact that he went the distance and pushed the brilliant Usyk suggests ‘Del Boy’, to use a ‘Rocky’ parlance, may still have ‘some stuff in the basement’.
On his night he still does a good impression of a top-10 heavyweight, as he proved by beating Carols Takam in 2018. He pushed Whyte to the wire in their first fight in 2016, but was knocked out by ‘The Body Snatcher’ in their 2018 return. He also holds wins over solid types such as Artur Szpilka and former GB amateur star David Price.
Chisora not a no-hoper
The 32-10 Chisora is not without hope here. He’s an aggressive fighter with good power and tons of stamina. Parker can be a lazy fighter who can switch off mentally. The best fighters in the world, the true elite, are those who are focused for every second of every round.
His footwork is also questionable at times. Parker was listless at times during that Fa fight, and for a big man he doesn’t always punch his weight. Chisora could outfight him if they go into the trenches and it becomes a tear-up.
However the Londoner has had a lot of tough nights and is 37 now. He tends to do better against brawlers and aggressive types and Team Parker should be aware of this. I cannot forget that fact that Chisora once made Agit Kabayel look like Sugar Ray Robinson and this underlines the fact he isn’t always comfortable when boxing a fighter who can move and counter.
Parker is an enigma of sorts and you can’t be sure how he will approach this, especially with a new trainer. However, he is the younger man by eight years and has far fewer miles on the clock. Chisora is harder than a coffin nail but one-dimensional.
Chisora vs Parker tip
I expect the Kiwi to be measured and rational and try to outbox Chisora. He has the edge in terms of speed but needs to be busy and he needs to let his hands go and not let his warhorse of an opponent settle into any kind of rhythm. If he does that, he can win a gruelling scrap on points.
Verdict: Parker to win by decision at 37/20 (Betfred)